“Rufus” is a young Pheasant Coucal and he came into WIRES care 5 days ago after a caring member of the public, driving along Broken Head Road, noticed the bird sitting by the side of the road. Even though she was running late for work, she turned the car around and went back to have a second look. When disturbed, coucals fly clumsily or run, plunging into cover, one sitting on the side of the road was definitely not quite right.
She quickly realised that the bird couldn’t fly, was stunned and had likely been hit by a car.
The young bird was assessed and x-rayed at Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital and was found to have a concussion, ruptured air sacs and fractured ribs.
From the Wildlife Hospital Rufus went into care with Wires volunteer Deborah where he is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery.
The ground dwelling Pheasant Coucal has a long tail and short rounded wings. unlike most cuckoos the Pheasant Coucal is unusual as it incubates and raises its own young instead of laying its eggs in the nest of another species.
By Deborah Pearce